Will Windows Phone 8.1 be able to live up to the hype?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Windows Phone has undeniably gone through a lot of scrutiny since it debuted with their Windows Phone 7 platform. While in the beginning people might have found it more acceptable for the platform to have their issues and a lack of applications, it's a lot harder to convince people to use the platform (now known as Windows Phone 8) today while it is still missing mainstream applications in the app store, as well as crucial features that are available in other platforms (i.e. notification center). While the hope is that these issues will be fixed in the Windows Phone 8.1 update, I have my sights set a little further down the line when it comes to a real revolution coming to the Windows Phone platform.
If you're not familiar with the Windows OS for PC, you might not be aware that Windows software comes with a "hit or miss" mentality when there is an upgrade - generally every other version that gets released is good, while the generations in-between are seen as worse than the previous generation with poor adoption rates. You can probably recall that Windows XP was largely preferred over the next upgrade of Windows, Windows Vista. In present day, Windows 8 has been described as the "new Windows Vista" - which isn't a good thing.
In fact, Windows 8 has been so poorly received that computer manufacturer HP started selling their laptops with Windows 7 again, saying "Windows 7 is back!" Although Windows 8.1 (for PC) was able to fix some of the issues that Windows users were unhappy with, for the most part you're probably patiently tapping your foot waiting for Windows 9, which should be a good update given Microsoft's patterns.
While it seems like both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are not everybody's cup of tea, I am wondering if Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 will be able to put both platforms back in people's good graces in regards to Microsoft.
When it comes to Windows Phone 8, I do wonder just how big of a difference the Windows Phone 8.1 update will be able to make. There's an awful lot of hype surrounding the update, which sort of worries me at this point. As a current Windows Phone user, of course my hope is that it will take care of some of the bigger bumps in the road. On the other hand, with an update name like "8.1" I can only assume that it's still considered a minor update that won't bring forth the attention that the platform needs to gain popularity.
So I'm kind of hoping that Windows Phone 9 will be the hero that Windows Phone needs. That's where I think the real money is - not with Windows Phone 8.1. I think the 8.1 update will bring some fixes that a lot of current Windows Phone users have been waiting for, but when it comes to bringing in new Windows Phone users I don't have high hopes that this update is going to cut it.
I have no idea what Windows Phone 9 will entail, but I hope that it will end up shedding some light back on Microsoft. I still feel that Windows Phone is a decent platform that I would hate to see go to waste.